John Fox of Marketing-Playbook.com has posted an intriguing summary of a July 2009 Tech Target Media Consumption Report.
Here’s the thing that presses my buttons: In the “awareness” stage of the purchasing process, the top 5 online marketing tools are:
- eBooks – which John identifies as a new entry
- email newsletters
- editorial articles
- white papers
For starters, I wonder how John – or Tech Target – distinguishes ebooks from white papers, especially since both are distributed electronically. In the minds of the surveyed participants, what makes these two things different?
In my mind (and it’s NOT the mind that matters in this survey) ebooks differ from white papers by being:
- Less formal, more collegial in tone
- More visual, less text-heavy
- Less linear, and more “chunky”: organized in smaller, more easily digested pieces
- More “fun” overall, less grimly serious than the traditional paper
Your thoughts? Is there a meaningful difference between an ebook and a white paper? And in your experience, have ebooks been a powerful awareness tool? If you’re interested in taking a deep dive in ebook, consider bringing my content writing training program, specifically tailored to ebooks, to your organization.